SECI to roll out 10 GW floating solar tender

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The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) on Monday published an enticing 10 GW floating solar tender that aims to boost this underdeveloped portion of the nation’s solar sector over the next three years.

The plan is for SECI to receive expressions of interest (EOI) from solar developers that wish to bid for projects under the tender. SECI will select those bids based on a series of criteria, with winning developers assured that the power they generate is to be bought by SECI via long-term PPAs.

The floating solar project will add capacity across the country based on information SECI can glean from the EOIs submitted. These submissions will form the basis of SECI’s feasibility study into where best to install floating solar arrays.

Successful developers will be required to then build, own and operate the installations at pre-identified sites. SECI says, however, that the onus on securing all development consent, clearances, permits and approvals will fall on the shoulders of the developers.

India’s floating solar landscape is beginning to exhibit welcome buoyancy. In the summer development of a 2 MW floating PV project in Andhra Pradesh began, while last year a series of project plans were unveiled: Germany’s KfW is to fund two floating solar pilot projects, and the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) revealed plans to build a 600 MW floating solar array at a hydro dam in Maharashtra.

The first floating solar farm was completed in India in 2015 – a 10 kw array built by Vikram Solar to assess the feasibility of such technology.

Companies that wish to submit EOIs to SECI have until January 5 2018. The date is extended to January 19, 2018.